So lately I've been bringing up good old Mass Effect 3 multiplayer again. I actually went cold turkey for a few months last year. But the start of this new year led me to get back into it all over again. Why is that?
New RNG packs.
I had no idea but when I got back in the game, I noticed two new RNG packs to test your luck on. They're similar to premium packs with two guaranteed rares but with skewed item chances. The Arsenal pack promises a higher chance for rare weapons while the Reserves pack promises higher chances for rare character additions.
Sign me up for that shit.
When Retaliation dropped, I had a tough time getting any new characters. Before quitting, I only had a Turian Ghost and an Asari Valkyrie (who is easily one of my new favorites). After that, I hit a long trail of nothing good for nobody. Maybe the occasional weapon like the Particle Rifle or a rare character from earlier packs like the Slayer but nothing to really write home ab- VOLUS!? Oh, goddammi-
Hope you like Shield Boost
But ever since I've been hitting the Reserve packs, I've gotten a remarkable number of new, cool characters to fiddle around with. Think Adepts are squishy? The Krogan Shaman is here! Think Ex-Cerberus are hogging all the Lash biotics? Batarian Slasher to the rescue! Why aren't Drell Infiltrators? They are now! Want a real Vanguard? It's called a a Batarian Brawler.
I've been having a lot of fun developing strategies with these new characters. The Batarian Slasher is the only Batarian without access to Blade Armor, so he's much more liable to damage since he lacks both extra damage reduction and an evasive maneuver. I've discovered a sweet spot as a mid-range shock trooper, rankling enemy lines with Lash and detonating with Warp while saving the Warp/Cluster Grenade combo for boss enemies. By playing mid-range, I can use cover for defense while the Batarian's natural health carries more buffer than other Adepts. He's also the first biotic with access to decent Lash-centric biotic combos (previously, Lash belonged to Ex-Cerberus who only had Smash to detonate). It's hilarious to use the Scorpion pistol with Lash to create special deliveries of high explosives.
I'm here to take names and shoot people with unnecessarily large guns
Meanwhile, the Krogan Shaman is basically a Human Adept if he was made to tank. They both have Warp and Shockwave but the Shaman has Barrier and extremely high shields and health. Where the human can crowd control and prime with Singularity, the Shaman is about getting in close, crushing things with your fists, and performing biotic explosions on anything out of reach. Shockwave is also really handy in disrupting enemies as you close the melee distance. While the Arc Pistol looks dinky in the hands of a Krogan, its ability to charge shots for ridiculously high damage synergies well. Just charge it up, punch things, use your biotics, and release the shot on anything outside your plan of attack.
But two simple assets continue to allude me. All I wanted were these two in the first place and I still don't have them: the Geth Trooper and the Quarian Marskman.
The Geth Trooper is my Geth Soldier prediction come true. Only instead of Defense Matrix, it uses Fortification. Sounds boring at first since we're not using Defense Matrix's shield refilling power. Then you remember Fortification has a power damage synergy, which is something Hunter Mode also does on top of passive bonuses to power damage.
Its main offensive power if a flamethrower. Here's the math: Fortification offers a 30% bonus to power damage + Hunter Mode offers a 15% bonus + both upgrades in Networked AI provide a 45% natural bonus on top of a power that naturally does around 300 fire damage at base, per second for 5 seconds (or 8 if you upgrade it that way).
Ummmm, basically, it cooks everything it doesn't already melt.
Here's the Quarian Marksman's schitck: he has Tactical Scan, which puts crazy debuffs on the enemy (+30% damage, 15% reduced speed, +25% headshot damage, tactical highlight) and Marksman, an ability which drastically improves accuracy, ROF, and here's the kicker, headshot damage, for a few seconds. Like all classes, the Quarian Marksman already has access to a 20% bonus headshot damage in their passives tree.
Headshots already multiply damage by 2x for most weapons. Some weapons have an insanely high 3x damage multiplier on headshots. Now factor 25% + 25% + 20%...
Geezus, what is it with these new soldier classes and their emphasis on damage over defense?
I'm also finally upgrading to an iPhone 4, after years of using older phones with normal, 90s functions on them. Finally, a world of GPS, go anywhere internet checking awaits me. Not to mention finally being able to customize my alert tones to game sounds. Here's looking at you BONK!
Wish me luck on those RNGs too. I'm closer to finishing the overall challenge lists than getting those damn characters.